Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi verdict awaited

Status: 11/30/2021 5:46 am

The first judgment against the leading figure of the democracy movement in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi, is expected today. She had helped marginalize the military party in the 2020 elections.

By Holger Senzel, ARD Studio Singapore

A flash mob against the military dictatorship. Hundreds, sometimes thousands, of demonstrators suddenly shouting their chants somewhere in a city in Myanmar – and then disappearing again before the police show up. And almost always they carry banners with photos of Aung San Suu Kyi and demand freedom for the icon of the democracy movement.

Holger Senzel
ARD-Studio Singapore

The first judgment against the former de facto head of government is due to be pronounced in Nyapidaw today. It is about paragraph 505b – incitement against the state – one of many charges against Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under arrest by the army since the military coup on February 1st.

“All of this has nothing to do with the law”

Violation of the Telecommunications Act, incitement, corruption – the list got longer and longer. Now there was also electoral fraud. No matter what verdict may be passed today: Nobody expects that Aung San Suu Kyi will leave the court as a free woman at the end of all charges.

“None of this has anything to do with the laws of Myanmar,” says Dr. Sasa from the NUG, the government of national unity made up of former elected politicians who are fighting the military from underground. “It is a mere show trial. It is an expression of terror by the military against the people of Myanmar.”

Aung San Suu Kyi should be politically sidelined after the election victory

Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy to an absolute majority in the 2020 elections – and marginalized the Army Party. Their chief of staff, Min Aung Laing, resented this and therefore created new facts with weapons. As a result of the trials, the disempowered de facto head of government could now be sidelined as a politician with a kind of rule-of-law cloak.

But the question is what role the 76-year-old still plays in the political deliberations of the democracy movement. Especially among the younger generation there is certainly criticism of Mother Suu’s role in the persecution of the Rohingya.

“She sits firmly in the heart of the people”

No, believes Ko Chit Chit, a member of the NLD Presidium – that is not the question.

What matters is not what political role Aung San Suu Kyi will play in the future. We cannot and do not want to remove them from our hearts. It is firmly rooted in the hearts of the people, and that is far more important than giving it a role.

Stop the revolution by depriving it of the leading figure – but it is too late for that, Ko Chit Chit sees it that way too. Despite brutal violence and more than a thousand deaths, the army has not yet gained complete control of the country. Despite all the intimidation and all the terror, the resistance has actually grown.

Country has slipped into civil war

The peaceful protest has turned into a cruel civil war – with an uncertain outcome. “Of course we will win,” contradicts Ko Chit Chit from the democracy movement.

We do not fight in a revolution if we are not convinced that it will succeed. Of course we will win. That’s why we fight. Even if we fight in different ways, we all have a common goal. We want to tear up the roots of the dictatorship and end the terror regime.

Incidentally, it is unclear whether the first judgment against Aung San Su Kyi will actually be made today. Likewise, when the court meets. The process takes place behind closed doors, journalists are not allowed.

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